Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 6:2-5
Jericho is the name of an ancient city situated close to a lake in Palestine. The name is well known from the Biblical story where God commands Joshua to destroy the city because of its inhabitants’ disobedience to God, as the above abstract mentions; but the story of the city goes back to about 8000 BCE when it was occupied during the Natufian period , making the structures in it the oldest man-made structures on Earth.
The archaeological evidence has verified that the Biblical story is accurate. Excavations show that Jericho was destroyed in approximately 1400 BCE, and that a portion of the city was burned completely.
The battle of Jericho is an amazing tale, with the description of the Ark of the Covenant and the trumpets used as a weapon under the command of Joshua and the orders of God himself. It wasn’t just a simple fight; these weapons were so powerful that they were capable of completely destroying an entire city in seven days. With the exception of a prostitute—who was thought to have betrayed her fellow citizens—and her family, every single living being died. After that the city was cursed by Joshua to never be built again; however the city was rebuilt many times after that event.
Jericho was a city heavily fortified and stocked with enough food and water to last for months. It would have taken many months—even years—to destroy such a city, and yet Joshua did it, according to the Bible, in seven days. Ancient astronaut theorists have argued that some kind of superior weaponry provided by external, perhaps even ‘alien’, interference was used in the destruction of Jericho. This is a mystery still unresolved.
This historic city, with more than 10000 years of history, clearly deserves a visit.
By John Black